Founded in Cologne in 2007, the Schumann Quartet is composed of the brothers Erik, Ken and Mark Schumann, along with violist Liisa Randalu. In May 2013 the Quartet has won the 1st Prize at the international String Quartet Competition “Quatuor à Bordeaux”, after it had already won the Competition “SCHUBERT AND MODERN MUSIC” in Graz (Austria) in 2012. Likewise the four musicians were among the prizewinners at the renowned Paolo Borciani Competition (2011) and at the 7th International Chamber Music Competition in Osaka (2011).
They also continue to receive valuable instruction from Heime Müller, Eberhard Feltz, Henk Guittart and the members of Alban Berg Quartet.
The ensemble is supported by scholarships from Villa Musica Rheinland-Pfalz (Mainz) and the Irene Steels-Wilsing Foundation, and was previously selected for a grant by the Werner Richard / Dr. Carl Dörken Foundation.
Ever since the 2009/10 season, the Schumann Quartet has enjoyed the status of Artist in Residence in the “Erstklassik” recital series held in Düsseldorf’s Robert Schumann Auditorium. They are also a welcome, often-invited guest in other concert halls of their home region North Rhine Westphalia, such as the Beethovenhaus in Bonn. Also the quartet goes regularly on tour to Japan, Canada, Austria and Italy.
The artists have teamed up with chamber music partners such as pianist Henri Sigfridsson, oboist Ramón Ortega Quero, clarinetist David Orlowsky, cellist Nicolas Altstaedt and violist Nils Mönkemeyer.
WDR Classical Radio (Cologne) has recorded the Schumann Quartet several times — most recently in January 2013, with a live concert broadcast of works by Mozart and Verdi, along with the 3rd String Quartet by recently deceased Düsseldorf composer Jürg Baur.
Released in April 2013, the Schumann Quartet’s début CD features works by Beethoven, Bartók and Brahms.
The Piano Quintet in E-flat major, Op. 44, by Robert Schumann was composed in 1842 and received its first public performance the following year. Noted for its “extroverted, exuberant” character, Schumann’s piano quintet is considered one of his finest compositions and a major work of nineteenth-century chamber music.Composed for piano and string quartet, the work revolutionized the instrumentation and musical character of the piano quintet and established it as a quintessentially Romantic genre.
Composition and performance
Clara Schumann (née Wieck) in 1838. Robert Schumann dedicated the piano quintet to Clara, and she performed the piano part in the work’s first public performance in 1843.
Schumann composed his piano quintet in just a few weeks in September and October 1842, in the course of his so-called “Chamber Music Year.” Prior to 1842, Schumann had completed no chamber music at all with the exception of an early piano quartet (in 1829). However, during his year-long concentration on chamber music he composed three string quartets, followed by the piano quintet, a piano quartet, and the Phantasiestücke for piano trio.
Schumann began his career primarily as a composer for the keyboard, and after his detour into writing for string quartet, according to Joan Chisell, his “reunion with the piano” in composing a piano quintet gave “his creative imagination … a new lease on life.”
John Daverio has argued that Schumann’s piano quintet was influenced by Schubert‘s Piano Trio No. 2 in E-flat major, a work Schumann admired. Both works are in the key of E-flat, both feature a funeral march in the second movement, and both conclude with finales that dramatically resurrect earlier thematic material.
Schumann dedicated the piano quintet to his wife, the great pianist Clara Schumann. She was due to perform the piano part for the first private performance of the quintet on 6 December 1842. However, she fell ill and Felix Mendelssohn stepped in, sight-reading the “fiendish” piano part. Mendelssohn’s suggestions to Schumann after this performance led the composer to make revisions to the inner movements, including the addition of a second trio to the third movement.
Clara Schumann did play the piano part at the first public performance of the piano quintet on 8 January 1843, at the Leipzig Gewandhaus. Clara pronounced the work “splendid, full of vigor and freshness.” She often performed the work throughout her life. Robert Schumann, however, on one occasion asked a male pianist to replace Clara in a performance of the quintet, remarking that “a man understands that better.”
By pairing the piano with string quartet, Schumann “virtually invented” a new genre. Prior to Schumann, piano quintets were ordinarily composed for keyboard, violin, viola, cello, and double bass. (This is the instrumentation for Schubert’sTrout Quintet, for example.)
Schumann’s choice to deviate from this model and pair the piano with a standard string quartet lineup reflects the changing technical capabilities and cultural importance, respectively, of these instruments. By 1842, the string quartet had come to be regarded as the most significant and prestigious chamber music ensemble, while advances in the design of the piano had increased its power and dynamic range. Bringing the piano and string quartet together, Schumann’s Piano Quintet takes full advantage of the expressive possibilities of these forces in combination, alternating conversational passages between the five instruments with concertante passages in which the combined forces of the strings are massed against the piano. At a time when chamber music was moving out of the salon and into public concert halls, Schumann reimagines the piano quintet as a musical genre “suspended between private and public spheres” alternating between “quasi-symphonic and more properly chamber-like elements.”
The piece is in four movements, in the standard quick-slow-scherzo-quick pattern:
Franz Schubert (31 January 1797 – 19 November 1828) was an Austrian composer. He was an extremely prolific composer, so that when he died at age thirty-one he had composed over six hundred secular vocal works (mainly Lieder), seven complete symphonies, sacred music, operas, incidental music and a large body of chamber and piano music.
Publication of Schubert’s compositions started during his lifetime, by opus number. After the composer’s death, posthumous opus numbers continued to be assigned to new publications of his work until 1867 (Op. Post. 173).
There are two attempts to publish everything Schubert has composed in a single edition:
From 1884 to 1897 Breitkopf & Härtel published twenty-two series of Franz Schubert’s Werke: Kritisch durchgesehene Gesammtausgabe, known as the “Alte Gesamt-Ausgabe” (AGA, the former complete edition). From 1965 Dover Publications started to reprint this edition, and later it was made available at the IMSLP website.
The Neue Schubert-Ausgabe (NSA), also known as the New Schubert Edition (NSE), is published by Bärenreiter (Kassel). It proposes eighty-three volumes, in eight series. Publication of all volumes has been scheduled to conclude in 2016. Plans for this edition began as early as 1963, with the foundation of the International Schubert Society, headquartered at the University of Tübingen, Germany.
Texts of Schubert’s vocal music can be published without the music, for instance his Lieder (songs) at LiederNet
The following constitutes a complete listing of Schubert’s known works. It is ordered ascendingly according to Deutsch numbers, and attempts to reflect the most current information with regards to Schubert’s catalogue. For reasons of space, this list is divided into two articles. The first article lists Schubert’s compositions from Deutsch entries D 1 – D 500 (all are dated works). The second article lists Schubert’s compositions from Deutsch entries D 501 – D 965B (also dated works), as well as D 966 – D 998 (undated works). The second article also includes the Appendix (Anhang) to the Deutsch catalogue (works listed as “D Anh.”) and a list of works that have yet to receive a Deutsch number (listed as “D deest”). For the second article, see List of compositions by Franz Schubert (D 501–D 998). ******************************************************************************
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
left to right: Martin Lovett, Norbert Brainin, Siegmund Nissel, Peter Schidlof
The Amadeus Quartet was a world famous string quartet founded in 1947 and disbanded in 1987, remarkable for having retained its founding members throughout its long history.
Because of their Jewish origin, the violinists Norbert Brainin (12 March 1923 – 10 April 2005), Siegmund Nissel (3 January 1922 – 21 May 2008) and the viola player Peter Schidlof (9 July 1922 – 16 August 1987) (later violist) were driven out of Vienna after Hitler’s Anschluss of 1938. Brainin and Schidlof met in a British internment camp on the Isle of Man; many Jewish refugees had the misfortune of being confined by the British as “enemy aliens” upon seeking refuge in the UK. Brainin was released after a few months, but Schidlof remained in the camp, where he met Nissel. Finally Schidlof and Nissel were released, and the three of them were able to study with violin teacher Max Rostal, who taught them free of charge. It was through Rostal that they met cellist Martin Lovett, and in 1947 they formed the Brainin Quartet, which was renamed the Amadeus Quartet in 1948.
The group gave its first performance as the Amadeus Quartet at the Wigmore Hall in London on 10 January 1948, underwritten by British composer and conductor Imogen Holst. On 25 January 1983 the Quartet gave a 35th anniversary concert in the same concert hall with a programme which included Beethoven’s String Quartet in C major, op.59 no. 3 (3rd Rasumovsky Quartet). Touring extensively, the Amadeus performed throughout Europe, Canada, the United States, Japan, and South America. Noted for its smooth, sophisticated style, its seamless ensemble playing, and its sensitive interpretation, the quartet made some 200 recordings, among them the complete quartets of Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. For concerts as well as recordings of string quintets (Mozart, Franz Schubert, Johannes Brahms, Anton Bruckner) and string sextets (Brahms) they regularly invited Cecil Aronowitz as second viola and William Pleeth as second cello. Though they emphasized a standard Classical and Romantic repertory, they also performed works by such 20th-century composers as Béla Bartók and Benjamin Britten who wrote his third quartet expressly for them.
The Amadeus was one of the most celebrated quartets of the 20th century, and its members were awarded numerous honors, including:
The Austrian Cross of Honour for Arts and Sciences.
The quartet disbanded in 1987 upon the death of the violist Peter Schidlof, who was regarded as irreplaceable by the surviving members. Brainin died on 10 April 2005 and Nissel on 21 May 2008. Only Lovett survived presently.
2 successive performances of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Turkish March from “Die Ruinen von Athen”, arranged by Richard Blackford for 8 pianos. Played by Gina Bachauer, Jorge Bolet, Jeanne-Marie Darré, Alicia De Larrocha, John Lill, Radu Lupu, Garrick Ohlsson and Bálint Vázsonyi at a Gargantuan Pianistic Extravaganza in London, 1974.
Please note that the 2nd performance is NOT a shredding video – these great pianists were actually playing what you hear!
The audio goes out of sync after a while, sorry about that.
Álbum: Beethoven: Edition Vol. 02 – Concertos (Disc 1) Interprete del álbum: Maurizio Pollini, Wiener Philharmoniker & Sviatoslav Richter, Wiener Symphoniker Compositor: Ludwig van Beethoven Año: 1997 Genero: Clásico Romántico Alemán Movimientos: Allegro con Brio-Adagio-Rondo Molto Allegro ************************************************************************ From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major, Op. 19, by Ludwig van Beethoven was composed primarily between 1787 and 1789, although it did not attain the form it was published as until 1795. Beethoven did write another finale for it in 1798 for performance in Prague, but that is not the finale that it was published with. It was used by the composer as a vehicle for his own performances as a young virtuoso, initially intended with the Bonn Hofkapelle. It was published in 1801, by which time he had also published the Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, although it had been composed after this work, in 1796 and 1797.
The B-flat major Piano Concerto became an important display piece for the young Beethoven as he sought to establish himself after moving from Bonn to Vienna. He was the soloist at its premiere on 29 March 1795, at Vienna’sBurgtheater in a concert marking his public debut. (Prior to that, he had performed only in the private salons of the Viennese nobility.) While the work as a whole is very much in the concerto style of Mozart, there is a sense of drama and contrast that would be present in many of Beethoven’s later works. Beethoven himself apparently did not rate this work particularly highly, remarking to the publisher Franz Anton Hoffmeister that, along with the Piano Concerto No. 1, it was “not one of my best.” The version that he premiered in 1795 is the version that is performed and recorded today.
The first movement begins with a triumphant orchestral opening on the tonic chord, and maintains a playfulness while using chromatic passages to show off the soloist’s dizzying technique. The second movement is characteristically serene and peaceful, while the closing Rondo brings back the youth-filled playfulness heard in the opening movement.
***I. Allegro con brio
This movement is in the concerto variant of sonata form (double-exposition sonata form). The orchestra introduces the main theme and the subordinate theme in its exposition. The second exposition is in F major. The development wanders in key and ends on a long B-flat major scale. The recapitulation is similar to the exposition and is in B-flat major.
There is a rather difficult cadenza composed by Beethoven himself, albeit much later than the concerto itself. Stylistically, the cadenza is very different from the concerto, but it makes good use of the first opening theme. Beethoven applies this melody to the cadenza in several different ways, changing its character each time and displaying the innumerable ways that a musical theme can be used and felt.
This movement was written between 1787 and 1789 in Bonn. Average performances last from thirteen to fourteen minutes.
This movement is in E-flat major, the subdominant key. Like many slow movements, it has ABA (ternary) form, where the opening section introduces the themes, and the middle section develops them. This movement was written between 1787 and 1789 in Bonn. Average performances last from eight to nine minutes.
***III. Rondo. Molto allegro
This movement takes the form of a Third Rondo (ABACABA). Beethoven’s playfulness of his early period can be heard here. There is a constant angular feel within the 6/8 melody itself that Beethoven plays on with each return of the rondo theme. The C section is also highly contrasting with the others, being that it is in a minor key and more forceful and stern in meaning. Also, prior to the last appearance of the rondo theme, Beethoven brings the piano in in the “wrong” key of G major, before the orchestra “discovers” the discrepancy and returns to the correct tonic key. This musical joke can be seen in many of Beethoven’s subsequent compositions.
This rondo is the one that Beethoven wrote in 1795 and premiered in Vienna that year. It does show Haydn’s influence. Average performances last from five to six minutes.
Felix Mendelssohn’s Octet in E-flat major, Op. 20 was composed in the autumn of 1825 (completed on 15 October), when the composer was 16. He wrote it as a birthday gift for his friend and violin teacher Eduard Rietz (born 17 October 1802); it was slightly revised in 1832 before the first public performance on 30 January 1836 at the Leipzig Gewandhaus. Conrad Wilson summarizes much of its reception ever since: “Its youthful verve, brilliance and perfection make it one of the miracles of nineteenth-century music.” It was followed in 1826 by the Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
The work comprises four movements: 00:00 – I. Allegro moderato ma con fuoco 12:48 – II. Andante 18:23 – III. Scherzo 22:41 – IV. Presto
A typical performance of the work lasts around 28-30 minutes, with the first movement usually comprising roughly half of this.
The scherzo, later scored for orchestra as a replacement for the minuet in the composer’s First Symphony at its premiere, is believed to have been inspired by a section of Goethe’s Faust entitled “Walpurgis Night’s Dream.” Fragments of this movement recur in the finale, as a precursor to the “cyclic” technique employed by later 19th-century composers. The entire work is also notable for its extended use of counterpoint, with the finale, in particular, beginning with an eight-part fugato.
The original score is for a double string quartet with 4 violins and pairs of violas and cellos. Mendelssohn instructed in the public score, “This Octet must be played by all the instruments in symphonic orchestral style. Pianos and fortes must be strictly observed and more strongly emphasized than is usual in pieces of this character.”
The work has been compared to Louis Spohr’s 1823 Double Quartet No.1, Op. 65 in D minor.
Franz Schubert: Das Forellen Quintett/Trout Quintet D.667 Opus 114 A Major Juhani Lagerspetz, Sini Simonen, Steven Dann, Franz Ortner, Michael Seifried at the 15th Esbjerg International Chamber Music Festival 2013. 25th August at South Denmark‘s Music Academy, SMKS, Esbjerg http://www.eicmf.dk EICMF is unique in Denmark as it invites artists to collaborate in new constellations, form new relationships, establish a foundation for exchange and annually act as a host for an international community of artists.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria, on this day in 1756. His achievements in composing operas, chamber music, symphonies, and piano concerti have earned him a reputation as one of the greatest musical geniuses of all time. Mozart’s birthday is observed by musical societies all over the world, who often give concerts of his music on this day. The city of his birth also honors him at the end of January with Mozart Week. More…Discuss
One of Walker’s best-known early works was “Lyric” for String Orchestra. It was originally the 2nd movement, ‘Molto Adagio,’ of his String Quartet No. 1 (1946), and is performed here in that original version. The Son Sonora String Quartet: Ashley Horne and Airi Yoshioka, violins; Liu-Wien Ting, viola; Leo Grinhauz, cello from Albany TROY1082 (2009) http://www.albanyrecords.com
Chamber works from this Pulitzer Prize winning composer. Continuing Albany Records’ series of music by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer George Walker, this recording focuses on his chamber music. The music ranges from his first string quartet composed in 1946 to the piano sonata composed in 1985. Walker is the recipient of six honorary doctoral degrees and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame in 2000. Contents: George Walker, composer String Quartet No. 1 Son Sonora String Quartet George Walker, composer String Quartet No. 2 Son Sonora String Quartet George Walker, composer Piano Sonata No. 4 Frederick Moyer, piano George Walker, composer Songs James Martin, baritone, George Walker, piano Review: “The piano sonata is a stunning, spacious work. Walker is at his finest in the songs. Each one is a gem. …James Martin’s warm baritone, concise diction, and wide variety of colors are a perfect match for these songs.” (American Record Guide) “From this CD one would conclude that [George Walker] is versatile, technically adept, and extremely skillful at changing styles…” (Fanfare)
The String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, known as Death and the Maiden, by Franz Schubert, is one of the pillars of the chamber music repertoire. Composed in 1824, after the composer suffered through a serious illness and realized that he was dying, it is Schubert’s testament to death. The quartet is named for the theme of the second movement, which Schubert took from a song he wrote in 1817 of the same title; but the theme of death is palpable in all four movements of the quartet.
The quartet was first played in 1826 in a private home, and was not published until 1831, three years after Schubert’s death. Yet, passed over in his lifetime, the quartet has become a staple of the quartet repertoire. It is D. 810 in Otto Erich Deutsch‘s thematic catalog of Schubert’s works.
1823 and 1824 were hard years for Schubert. For much of 1823 he was sick, some scholars believe with an outburst of tertiary stage syphilis, and in May had to be hospitalized. He was broke: he had entered into a disastrous deal with Diabelli to publish a batch of works, and received almost no payment; and his latest attempt at opera, Fierabras, was a flop. In a letter to a friend, he wrote,
“Think of a man whose health can never be restored, and who from sheer despair makes matters worse instead of better. Think, I say, of a man whose brightest hopes have come to nothing, to whom love and friendship are but torture, and whose enthusiasm for the beautiful is fast vanishing; and ask yourself if such a man is not truly unhappy.”
English: Oil painting of Franz Schubert, after an 1825 watercolor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Franz Schubert in 1825 (painting by Wilhelm August Rieder)
Yet, despite his bad health, poverty and depression, Schubert continued to turn out the tuneful, light and gemütlichmusic that made him the toast of Viennese society: the song cycle Die schöne Müllerin, the octet for string quartet, contrabass, clarinet, horn and bassoon, more than 20 songs, and numerous light pieces for piano.[3
L’orchestre de Chambre Lakeshore Chamber Orchestra, Stewart Grant, Guest Conductor / Chef d’Orchestre invité, Canada Day Concert fête du Canada, Edvard Grieg – Norwegian Dances, op 35 – Allegretto tranquillo e grazioso, Part 2 of 4
One of the most beautiful dance ever composed. I always liked listening to it and hope you will to.